Samson Nacua, Puka Nacua officially sign with BYU

Brett Pyne | Posted: 13 Apr 2021 | Updated: 13 Apr 2021
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PROVO, Utah — BYU head coach Kalani Sitake today announced the signings of transfer wide receivers Puka Nacua, from the University of Washington, and Samson Nacua, from the University of Utah.

From Provo, Utah, the two brothers have signed scholarship agreements to attend their hometown university and join the BYU football program for the upcoming season. Samson, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound graduate transfer, will be a senior in 2021, while Puka, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound transfer, returns to Provo as a sophomore.

“We are very excited about the additions of Samson and Puka,” said Sitake. “They are both experienced and talented receivers and come from an amazing family and a great bloodline of football players to come through BYU. Their character and leadership will be a great asset to our program and university and will add to the great culture that has already been established here at BYU.”

Puka was a first-team All-American and Utah’s Player of the Year out of Orem High School in 2018 before playing for Washington the past two seasons. Demonstrating his big-play talents, Puka averaged 19.9 yards per reception for the Huskies in his two seasons while totaling 319 yards and three touchdowns on 16 receptions. He scored a career-long 65-yard touchdown against Arizona in 2020 and boasted a season-long grab of 49 yards against the Wildcats in 2019 to earn UW Offensive Player of the Game honors after totaling 97 yards in the victory.  Puka was also named the UW coaches' Offensive Player of the Game after a career-high six catches for 67 yards in the team’s victory over Utah last season.

As a freshman in 2019, Puka played in the first eight games, making three starts, while contributing 168 yards and two touchdowns before his season was cut short due to an injury. Two of his starts as a true freshman came in wins over USC and BYU. In 2020 he totaled 151 yards and a touchdown on nine receptions in only three games during his pandemic-shortened season. He played in 11 games overall in two abbreviated seasons in Seattle.

Samson comes to BYU having played 45 career games for Utah, including eight starts, while totaling 1,015 yards and 11 touchdowns on 82 receptions from 2017 to 2020. After going to Salt Lake City as a first-team All-State player out of Timpview High School, Samson redshirted the 2016 season before becoming a mainstay on the field for the Utes over the last four seasons. He averaged 12.4 yards per catch overall,  including a career-best 18.3 yards per reception in his last full season in 2019, and also led the Utes in receiving touchdowns in 2018.

Missing only one game in four years, Samson made 29 receptions for 294 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt freshman in 2017, before contributing 362 yards and a team-high five touchdowns on 31 grabs as a sophomore in 2018. He added 330 yards and four scoring catches among his 18 receptions as a junior in 2019, which included an 83-yard touchdown catch against UCLA, the 10th-longest reception in Utah football history. During Utah’s pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Samson played four of five games adding four catches for 29 yards while also returning his first career punt return for 18 yards against USC.

Sons of Penina and the late Lionel Nacua, Samson and Puka come to BYU where older brothers Kai and Isaiah both previously attended as members of the football program. Kai starred for the Cougars as a defensive back from 2013-2016 before going to the NFL, where he is currently with the San Francisco 49ers.

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